Bible Reading Plans
It is important to thoroughly read the Bible, but simply reading the Bible is not the same as studying. With only a chapter or two a day so you can focus on what God’s saying to you.
STEP 1: OBSERVATION - What does the passage say?
Observation is the first and most important step in how to study the Bible. As you read the Bible text, you need to look carefully at what is said, and how it is said. Look for:
- Terms, not words
- Relationships between ideas
- Comparisons and contrasts
- Literary form
STEP 2: INTERPRETATION - What does the passage mean?
Interpretation is discovering the meaning of a passage, the author’s main thought or idea. Answering the questions that arise during observation will help you in the process of interpretation. Five clues (called “the five C’s”) can help you determine the author’s main point(s):
STEP 3: APPLICATION - What am I going to do about what the passage says and mean?
Application is why we study the Bible. We want our lives to change; we want to be obedient to God and to grow more like Jesus Christ. After we have observed a passage and interpreted or understood it to the best of our ability, we must then apply its truth to our own life.
You’ll want to ask the following questions of every passage of Scripture you study:
- How does the truth revealed here affect my relationship with God?
- How does this truth affect my relationship with others?
- How does this truth affect me?
- How does this truth affect my response to the enemy, Satan?
The application step is not completed by simply answering these questions; the key is putting into practice what God has taught you in your study. Although at any given moment you cannot be consciously applying everything you’re learning in Bible study, you can be consciously applying something. And when you work on applying a truth to your life, God will bless your efforts by, as noted earlier, conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ.